Meet the Trumbull GOP Candidates

Republican candidates for Trumbull and for Jim Himes' congressional seat talked with Trumbull's conservative "Ladies for Liberty" group.

One works with cell tower technology; another owns a restaurant chain; and the third is a realtor.

The goal: they all want to make Connecticut a more business-friendly place. The three met with constituents of Trumbull's "Ladies for Liberty" at the .

Steve Obsitnik, who is running against U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, opened the forum with a story about his grandfather, a German immigrant with a limited education.

"He struggled," Obsitnik said. Several of his businesses failed before he started a machine shop that later earned him an award from President Ronald Reagan. Obsitnik followed in his father's footsteps and started his own business after leaving the U.S. Navy.

He called the contest with Jim Himes "salesmanship v. leadership."

"I care about people. I care about our district," Obsitnik said. "This is going to be a challenging race."

"The biggest asset we have is finding a way for corporations" to invest their money right now, Obsitnik continued.

One way to do that is making companies and government run more efficiently.

He also stressed the importance of education, noting that many of the women in his family were or are teachers.

First Selectman Tim Herbst called Obsitnik "a proven job creator."

"He's a good man. He will do a good job," Herbst said.


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Chadwick Ciocci and David Rutigliano

Herbst said Rutigliano has practical business experience.

"He understands the ramifications of [regulations] and how they affect businessowners," Herbst said.

One problem is hiring young people is more expensive, said Rutigliano, who owns the SBC restaurant chain. A seventh is slated for Norwalk. He's vying for T.R. Rowe's seat in the state House of Representatives.

"It's become more and more expensive to take a shot on a young person," said Rutigliano.

The cost to train is too much, so hiring more experienced people saves money, he said.

Regarding state spending, Rutigliano said, "For every one dollar we send to Washington, we get back 66 cents."

He also noted that for every Connecticut state employee, there are seven citizens. In California, there is one state employee for every 175 citizens.

The restaurateur further called for Malloy to use General Accounting Principles to run the state.

One of the candidates also cited that Connecticut is number one in the loss of 18- to 34-year-olds, and new private sector jobs have not been created in 20 years.

Ciocci, a five-term Town Councilman eyeing state Sen. Anthony Musto's seat, vowed to try to repeal the "Musto-Malloy tax increase," and criticized the state leaders for confusion on whether there is a budget deficit or a surplus.

"In Connecticut, two plus two no longer equals four. I think enough is enough," he said.

He said cutting spending "is not hard," and job creation must be the number one priority.

Ciocci propsed some ideas. High School students eligible to graduate in three years receive half of their education cost and put it toward post graduate work, from college to other roads.

Secondly, he proposed electing the Siting Council, citing the recent approval of a taller cell tower for .

louis June 19, 2012 at 01:26 PM
I realise that Rutigliano has no experience in government apart from the local committees his friends have placed him on, but is he running for United States Senate or the State Legislature? All efforts to promote the party are understandable, the problem with the GOP has always been a blind loyalty to registered party members. You would rather vote for the most inappropriate candidate with an R after his name rather than someone who really does seek to advance virtues of the Republic! Washington has nothing at all to do with the problems we face in Connecticut, 35 years of GOP representation for Trumbull in the State Legislature. There is much we can do, but we have to look at what is achievable.
Richard W. White June 19, 2012 at 02:00 PM
"One of the candidates also cited that Connecticut is number one in the loss of 18- to 34-year-olds, and new private sector jobs have not been created in 20 years." This simply isn't true by any measure that I've seen. I'd like to see a source. Here's one from 2005 through 2007: http://www.higheredinfo.org/dbrowser/?level=nation&mode=graph&state=0&submeasure=259 Here's another, more recent but harder to use: http://usa.ipums.org/usa/index.shtml
Aaron Leo (Editor) June 19, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Thanks Richard!
gail jarvis June 19, 2012 at 02:36 PM
So Louis, because Rutigliano IS NOT a Professional Politician you think he is an "inappropriate candidate!". The "Professionals" that include---but not limited to--- politicians/community organizers/bureaucrats/media pundits have "professionally" designed a course that is putting us over the cliff.
Richard W. White June 19, 2012 at 02:44 PM
"He [Rutigliano] also noted that for every Connecticut state employee, there are seven citizens. In California, there is one state employee for every 175 citizens." This is also fiction: http://jonathanpelto.com/2011/01/21/wait-what-connecticut-has-more-public-employees-than-most-states http://www.census.gov/govs/apes
Richard W. White June 19, 2012 at 02:58 PM
I'm getting roughly 1 in 56 for State and 1 in 19 for State and Local. Look closely at the State and Local table, when you say that you want smaller government, what you are saying is that you want fewer teachers, police, fire, ems, and corrections.
JR June 19, 2012 at 03:05 PM
His California number is inflated as well.
Pat M June 19, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Mr. White you are correct. You sound like you should be running and not Dave R.
Richard W. White June 19, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Thanks, but I'm hoping to here more about the many, many postitives that our state offers than the constant drip, drip, drip of negatives. These statements are frequently inflated, never adjusted for state GDP or Income or cost of living, and rarely provide sources. Personally, I'm very optimistic about our state. Here's a good place to start: http://measureofamerica.org/maps
Joe June 19, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Will these guys actually be reading and thinking about the legislation their voting on or just regurgitating their Party's disinformation? This is not leadership.
trumbulite09 June 19, 2012 at 06:09 PM
I'm not sure using California as an example is a good campaign strategy. "For the second year, 24/7 Wall St. has reviewed data on financial health, standard of living and government services by state to determine how well each state is managed. Based on this data, 24/7 Wall St. ranked the 50 states from the best to worst run. The best-run state is Wyoming. The worst-run state is California." http://finance.yahoo.com/news/best-and-worst-run-states-in-america.html?page=all
Richard W. White June 19, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Here's another optimistic view of our state: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/31/us/as-college-graduates-cluster-some-cities-are-left-behind.html Note: check out the graphic and chart. Stamford-Norwalk-Bridgeport is ranked third overall and fourth in percentage increase since 1970.
louis June 19, 2012 at 08:30 PM
No, he is a professional tavern owner, but unless the path to success for our society is widespread intoxication, I would argue that he is not the kind of professional we need in the job. The Republican danger always was that they would start to believe their own rhetoric and would nominate someone who joined the party merely to run for office, in other words someone with no substance. Party unity was a strong suit for the GOP, it was a necessary function at a time when its party plank held credibility. If you knew me, you would know that I am more of a republican than Dave, but, I guess its easier to judge a book by its cover. A certain faction always argued against democracy and a republican form of government on the basis that the people could not tell who they should vote for. Ritigliano is not qualified to be your representative in Hartford, I am. I am a professional public administrator. I have an understanding of Hartford's dysfunctions and delusions and can work with both parties to find the type of compromise that will bring solution based results. The time for fiddling while Rome burns has come to an end. The power that we lend you Dave, Tom; well, we the people want it back!
louis June 19, 2012 at 08:47 PM
and Ritigliano has presided over a declining infrastructure and increase in taxes with nothing to show for it, and honestly his food at SBC is not that great. Jeez, he doesn't even have heinz ketsup on the table. I suppose his mediocre representation would strengthen, in a kind of backhanded way, the libertarian argument that we should all return to nature and disband government. Certainly his time of leadership would make anyone move to Alaska.
trumbulite09 June 19, 2012 at 09:11 PM
I can agrue with someones politics but can we leave bashing someones business and livelyhood alone. SBC is a good restaurant for families, the owner's politics should not affect the business. Livilihoods of many depend on businesses. Let's stay focused.
Pat M June 19, 2012 at 09:36 PM
It seems that recent posts have a problem with Dave R"s qualifications. What about Tom C, why would he work out better?
MAC June 19, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Ciocci's and Rutigliano's statements are much closer to the truth than the BIG government leftists here will admit. The below, along with the fact that about half of recent grads from UConn don't have jobs lined up, or have to leave CT for their jobs, should refute much of Mr. White's rosy scenario he wants to believe. "States Have $900 Billion of Off-Balance Sheet Debt Chicago, (June 13, 2012) -The Institute for Truth in Accounting (IFTA) today released its second annual study of all 50 states' assets and liabilities, including pension and retirement healthcare obligations. All the states together have more than $900 billion in off-balance sheet liabilities, and the taxpayer burdens in most states continue to grow."... "The report reviews each state's financial condition and identifies the top five 'sinkhole' states, or the states in the worst financial condition."... "The five 'sinkhole states' and the amount ^^ each taxpayer ^^ would have to send to its state treasury are: Connecticut ($49,000), New Jersey ($35,800), Hawaii ($32,700), Illinois ($31,600), and Kentucky ($23,500)."... http://truthinaccounting.org/state-of-states/
JR June 20, 2012 at 11:11 AM
Well, the Uconn grads won't be welcome at SBC. Too risky.
Richard W. White June 20, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Your "about half" value isn't specific to UCONN or the State of Connecticut but the experience of all recent college graduates: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/04/53-of-recent-college-grads-are-jobless-or-underemployed-how/256237 What is depressing to me is the constant, mainly Republican, chiming that government is too big. When you talk about smaller government at the state and local level you are talking primarily about fewer teachers, police, and fire. One area that was projected for growth in jobs was secondary and primary education -- yet this is where the cuts go first: http://www.stats.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2006/fall/art03.pdf Your website claims that there are nearly 1 Trillion in state shortfalls. Fine, reverse the Bush tax cuts, direct the money back to the states to replace the teachers, police, and fire that have been cut. Tie the money to a requirement that these new hires be placed into a private sector style 401(k) so that they don't add to the pension deficits. You might be comfortable about calling Connecticut a "sinkhole" state, but first normalize the figuares in that report by state GDP or median household income and then tell us where on the list CT lies. My guess is somewhere in the middle third.
MAC June 20, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Richard, your perspective is that government has the answers to our problems, so bigger government is better, and taxes seemingly can never be too high. (I'm just phrasing that in the absolutist anti-Republican terms you are so fond of.) You also, like your DEM brothers, have no respect for the LIMITATIONS on government authority in the state and U.S. Constitutions; such as the principle of "Enumerated Powers" and the 10th Amendment. For instance, constitutionally, there is NO authority for federal departments such as Education, Agriculture and many others. Add to that the fact that of TAXPAYER money sent to Washington, 20-30 % of those $$ are consumed by government bureaucracy, before they turn around and redistribute the remainder to states, where more is consumed by bloated governments as in Hartford! Most common sense Americans understand that yes, "government IS too BIG"!! That is because the federal government is SPENDING ONE-QUARTER of the entire GDP, and BORROWING 40 cents of every $$$ spent!!! CT government is also now borrowing to pay daily operating expenses! And shame on you, Richard--the CT and other "state shortfalls" have nothing to do with "Bush tax cuts," which congress voted for. The deficits were caused by mismanagement, kicking the can down the road, and overly optimistic assumptions by incompetent career politicians!
Richard W. White June 20, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Try 99 cents on the dollar... From the US Dept. of Ed. website: "One final note: while ED's programs and responsibilities have grown substantially over the years, the Department itself has not. In fact, the Department has the smallest staff of the 15 Cabinet agencies, even though its discretionary budget alone is the third largest, behind only the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, the Department makes over $120 billion in new loans annually. A wide range of management improvements have helped limit administrative costs to approximately 2 percent of the Department's discretionary budget and only about 1 percent of all grants and loans made by the Department. This means that ED delivers about 99 cents on the dollar in education assistance to States, school districts, postsecondary institutions, and students." The entire budget is online. Please feel free to point us to the "20-30 % of those $$ are consumed by government bureaucracy". http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/fed/role.html
Richard W. White June 20, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Here's more that addresses USDA and SNAP spending: http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=3655
MAC June 20, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Richard, so you are "comfortable" with the fact that to pay off simply the deficits in Off-Balance Sheet Debt (not including that on the current balance sheet) in CT you would have to write out a check to CT DRS for $49,000? "Sinkhole state" is not my term for CT, but it seems to be true, and perhaps why so many grads and others are leaving CT. I know dozens of families who have fled CT or are doing so now! ..."According to The Associated Press, new graduates have a 50-50 chance of winding up jobless or underemployed after graduation." The article also cites the "annual mass exodus" of young graduates to cities outside CT, not only for better job opportunities, but because it is very expensive to live in CT. Read more: Job prospects uncertain for region’s UConn grads - Norwich, CT - The Bulletin http://www.norwichbulletin.com/news/x1266594907/Job-prospects-uncertain-for-region-s-UConn-grads#ixzz1yM4MNQEa A large factor in the high cost of living in CT is the bloated size, as well as the overwhelming control by DEMS, of state government. Just consider the fact that CT has some 50,000 state employees (not including city, municipal, police and firemen, teachers, etc.), with its small population! In contrast, the state of CA, with a population 10 times that of CT, has 225,098 total state employees, as of May this year! http://www.sco.ca.gov/ppsd_empinfo_demo.html
MAC June 20, 2012 at 06:48 PM
CT state government is certainly too big for the size of our population, exemplified by the large number in our legislature, 36 senators and 151 house members, vis a vis CA, which is composed of a Senate consisting of 40 State Senators and an Assembly of 80 members. Although our legislature is part-time, we also pay salaries and benefits for Full-time staff for the members. And Richard, you are so fixated on education that you refuse to accept the fact that departments like Education and Agriculture are "un-Constitutional" for our federal government!! And I was referring to federal government as a whole when I wrote that "of TAXPAYER money sent to Washington, 20-30 % of those $$ are consumed by government bureaucracy, before they turn around and redistribute the remainder to states, where more is consumed by bloated governments as in Hartford!" Regarding the "un-Constitutional" dept. of Ed., it has 4,200 employees, and their salaries, benefits and bureaucratic expenses are not included in the specious 'numbers' you cite as returning "99 cents on the dollar"!!
louis June 20, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Its not quantity that matters, ladies of liberty, but quality. We sadly, confined by our own partisan ideology miss that point, accordingly, we receive neither quality. If you want someone to work for you, someone with conservative values, LOL....vote for me!
Tom Kelly June 21, 2012 at 12:11 PM
MAC, you are comparing CT unfavorably to California legislators? Ours our part-time, and earn somewhere in the range of $30,000 per year. California state legislators have a salary of over $95,000 per year, and most accept a tax free per diem reimbursement for expenses of over $30,000 per year. The Tea Party is able to get traction right now because of the difficult economic environment, but their message will never be one that gains long standing appeal because it is not a positive vision for the future. It's based on scaring people and appealing to their anger. And for many (not all) Tea Partiers, the fiscal agenda is just a means to the real end, which are the issues most important to many (not all) Tea Partiers. That is the social agenda, including attacking women's rights and same-sex marriage, and removing all limits on gun ownership or carriage laws.
MAC June 22, 2012 at 07:37 PM
No, Tom, CT (DEM) legislators are taking our economy towards bankruptcy, following the "progressive" example of states such as CA. Not only should they remain pt, but there should be LESS of them, especially since most CT voters seem to blindly vote for anyone with a (D) after his/her name! Not only do CA legislators typically travel hundreds and hundreds of miles to get to Sacramento, but those 120 legislators "represent" almost 38 MILLION people, while 187 CT legislators have only 3,580,000 to "represent." I am looking at things from the perspective of "We the People"!! Whereas your view seems to be that the bigger the government the better, because THEY have the solutions to most every problem, and that state and federal spending can never be too high! Then there is the matter of intrusive and wrong-headed REGULATIONS (as well as over-taxation) by states such as CA and CT, and by Obama, PUNISHING the business and job creators!
MAC June 22, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Tom, you have some kind of bitter 'bee in your bonnet,' and could not be more wrong in your assessment of "The Tea Party." 1. It has "traction" because the "Silent Majority" of common sense Americans, who recognize that that government is best which governs least, have woken up!! They have awakened to the fact that incompetent "career politicians" have treated voters and the economy like collateral damage!! While "tea party" folks (responsible citizens of BOTH parties) were busy working, raising families, paying their taxes and TRUSTING elected congress people and state legislators to DO THEIR JOBS, these incompetent "career politicians" were mainly concerned only with getting re-elected, instead of doing what is best for the nation's and ALL Americans' futures. 2. The "Tea Party" has a VERY "positive vision," which is "based on" the notion that Americans are hard-working, innovative GOOD people, who un-punished or unrestrained by an overweening, over-regulating, over-taxing government will solve any problem--although it is not going to be easy! It is DEMS, and phony RINOs who believe that GOVERNMENT has the answers, and that "the People" are too stupid to manage their own lives, their towns, their schools, families and businesses without interference by the state and federal governments.


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